Gardening is such a wonderful hobby, not just for the fruitful results, but also for the fact that it gives you an excuse to spend more time outdoors. However, gardening can turn out to be expensive if you don’t identify your needs correctly and don’t invest in the proper products. Today, we’re going to talk about soaker hoses, a product that’s highly underestimated, but oh-so-useful.
Best Value: Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose
“We’ve used many soaker hoses over the years and this is the only one that has performed so well.” (customer review)
Most Flexible: Melnor 65061-AMZ 50′ Flat Soaker Hose
Due to the construction of this soaker hose, it’s very easy to drag it across the garden, around corners, being one of the most flexible models around.
Longest Option: Swan Products MGSPA38075CC Miracle-GRO Soaker System
If you want to avoid connecting multiple soaker hoses, you can invest in the 100-foot length version of this hose.
Best for Sprinkler Hose: Swan Products GIDS-2496287 Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose
“A heavier duty version of the sprinkler hose. The hose is a thicker plastic and the connector is much better than those found on the bargain brands.” (customer review)
Bargain Buy: Dramm 17020 ColorStorm Premium 25 Foot Soaker
The Dramm soaker hose is one of the best and affordable products of its kind, so it’s definitely worth looking into if you want to save some money.
Best Overall: GREEN MOUNT 04070P Garden Soaker Hose
“Best way to water my plants. Economical and on point. Water the roots not the leaves.” (customer review)
How to Choose
As you can imagine, not all soaker hoses are created alike, so here are some of the things to look out for when you’re choosing one:
One of the first things that you need to take a look into whenever you choose just about any type of hose, really, is length. Soaker hoses are available in all kinds of length, but when you choose a certain length, you need to look into the size of your garden. The good news is that you can connect multiple soaker hoses to one another, so you can end up having a really long hose if you’re trying to cover a large area.
This is a feature that’s generally important in all hoses, and the flexibility of a hose depends on certain other factors, starting with the materials. Rubber hoses are the best choice because this is one of the most flexible materials out there. The shape of the hose will also determine its flexibility. For instance, flat hoses aren’t very good for tight turns. Keep in mind that the pored of a soaker hose is located on the bottom side, which limits the ways in which you can place it.
As you can imagine, different kinds of soaker hoses have pores of different sizes, so what size is the right one to choose? Well, the main goal is to keep the soil moist at a level where plant roots can be hydrated properly. If the hose has pores that are too large, they may eliminate too much water and over-soak the soil. Of course, you also want to avoid hoses with pores that are too small because this often results in poor water elimination and, therefore, poor plant hydration. You want to look for soaker hoses that eliminate thick beads of water but without the hose projecting them outward. The best soaker hoses are those that allow you to see water droplets forming on the surface.
One of the best things about soaker hoses is the fact they can be efficient even at really low water pressures. Experts recommend keeping the water pressure around 10 PSI, to allow the water to seep through the pores instead of spraying it out.
What Is a Soaker Hose Good For?
In order to understand what a soaker hose is good for, you should first know what a soaker is and what it does. It has a very different design compared to what you’re used to seeing in a regular hose. Its main characteristic is the multitude of pores located along the length of the hose, which slowly eliminate water.
Due to low water pressure, the water that leaks through these pores will quickly reach the base of the plants, allowing you to push more water to the root system and avoid evaporation as much as possible. Basically, the construction of a soaker hose will allow water to seep through the pores at a slow rate.
So, what are the benefits of soaker hoses?
- First of all, it could be useful to help your plants be free of pests and fungal diseases, by providing the roots with the right amount of water, but also making sure that other parts of the plants aren’t oversaturated with water which could create an environment favorable for pests.
- They are good for people that don’t want to invest too much money upfront in gardening equipment, as soaker hoses are a much cheaper solution compared to some other options.
- If you have a small garden on level ground, a soaker hose might be useful for you too, but they also work really well in raised beds.
- It’s also a good option for people that don’t want to spend too much time watering their gardens manually. These hoses simply need to be spread around plant beds, making sure that the soaker is close enough to the plant so that the water can quickly reach the roots. You don’t have to monitor the soaker hose; just turn the water on and walk away.
Soaker Hose vs. Irrigation Hose
If you’re not familiar with different kinds of gardening tools, then you probably don’t know the difference between a soaker hose and an irrigation hose. Irrigation hoses are basically flexible irrigation pipes that change their form once water flows through them. When water pressure is high, the pipe expands to a tube, and then retracts when you stop the water.
These hoses are made from plastic fibers, which makes them super flexible. One great advantage of this type of hose is the fact that its compact version occupies very little space and there is less need for too much storage space. Drip irrigation usually works in large gardens that have straight rows, with sloped ground.
Soaker hoses are porous tubes that resemble a garden hose very much in appearance, but it’s characterized by a lot of tiny pores spread across its surface that slowly allow water to seep through. Soaker hoses are typically made from polyethylene plastic and rubber, but you can also find some models that are BPA-free.
Should You Use a Soaker Hose for a Veggie Garden?
One of the direst questions related to this subject is whether or not soaker hoses will help a vegetable garden grow, so let’s try to address this matter and determine what the correct answer is.
Consider the following: whenever vegetables are in their seedling stage, they require plenty of nurturing, and consistent watering is a very important part of this nurturing process. With a soaker hose, your vegetables can benefit from a constant stream of water without too much effort on your behalf.
With a soaker hose, you can set up a consistent watering routine for your vegetables, which is preferred by many people that don’t want to have to manually water the plants themselves. Manual watering is something that can give inconsistent results if you forget to do it, so a soaker hose is much better in such a situation.
Such a hose basically uses a drip irrigation system that can also protect your vegetables from fungal disease and can also keep pests away because water doesn’t land on the leaves, as opposed to this happening when you manually water your plants.
Tips on Using a Soaker Hose
If you want to make the best out of your soaker hose, here are some tips that might help you out:
- Soaker hoses work best in a flat area, so you want to avoid inclined terrain if you want the hose to be truly efficient. The low water pressure in the hose will prevent the water from reaching higher surfaces.
- Soaker hoses can easily be connected to timers, and this helps automate the process and reduce the efforts you have to put in.
- If your water source doesn’t provide a steady amount of pressure, don’t be afraid to invest in a water pressure regulator.
- From time to time, you want to make sure that the hose is debris-free. In order to make that happen, you can either remove the end cap and easily remove waste from the hose, or you can use a filter.
The Best Soaker Hoses
Our first suggestion for the day is a Gilmour flat hose. This model is available in different length sizes, so you won’t run out of options when you want to opt for this specific model. Made from vinyl, this hose promises to deliver a quality DIY watering system, allowing you to bury the hose underneath mulch and keep it out of sight at all times. The flexibility of the hose allows you to place it around the roots of all kinds of plants so that you can provide them with consistent water flows. You can choose to hook the hose up to the timer so that you’ll never have to worry about manual watering the plants, allowing them to receive the water they need for roots to grow healthy and thrive.
Melnor is a brand quite experienced in delivering water solutions and gardening products focused on helping your plants thrive from a “moisture” point of view. This particular soaker hose is designed to provide you with a good solution to keep your plant hydrated. There are three length options to choose from: 25, 50, and 75 feet. The rust-resistant cap end makes it easy to connect multiple hoses one to another. When not in use, the shoe lies really flat, so it’s very easy to store it when you have limited storage space to work with. There are two extra washers included in the package so you can benefit from a leak-free seal.
This Swan Products soaker hose is another great product for watering the garden. It can release between 0.5 and 1 gallon of water for each foot of its length, making sure that water goes straight to the roots, since it can be placed under mulch if needed. Compared to a sprinkler system, such a hose uses 70 percent less water since it uses a water restrictor to limit water consumption to the bare minimum. The hose is designed with a lead-free system that meets the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. You can choose between three length options, with the longest hose being 100 feet. You will receive two male and two female connectors, and also one feeder. To get the best out of this hose, the manufacturer recommends using it in a straight line, and suggests we avoid placing the hose on an incline.
We have yet another Swan Products hose in this list, so let’s take a look at what makes this product one of the best ones in its category. Available in a 50-foot length, this product is designed to provide your plants with just the right amount of water, without you having to worry about manually watering the garden. The hose is constructed from 65 percent recycled and reinforced rubber. Thanks to its construction, the hose can lie flat without any kinds or twists. It comes with male and female brass fittings. The surface of the hose has patented UV protection, so even if the hose lies uncovered by mulch and in direct sunlight, it won’t impact its durability.
The Dramm soaker hose is another viable product, especially for people that are looking to save money on this purchase. Made from high-grade rubber, this hose comes with thicker walls that promise to eliminate the geyser effect and uses 90 percent less water. It has an abrasion-resistant and kink-resistant construction, promising to deliver even watering at all times. It is designed with nickel-plated brass fittings, offering a crush-resistant component that can easily withstand the test of time. You can choose between the 25 and the 50-foot version of this hose, depending on how big your garden is.
This Green Mount soaker hose is another product that’s worthy of our list, eliminating water at 2 gallons every 2 minutes if you turn on the water pressure all the way up to 60 PSI. Made from PVC material, the hose eliminates a consistent flow of water, distributing the liquid of life evenly across the surface. It is designed with corrosion-resistant end caps, making it super easy to connect multiple hoses to one another. The tensile strength of the hose makes it one of the most flexible models around.
When you choose a soaker hose, it’s really important to take a look into the features that are specific to this type of hose so that you can invest money in a product that’s actually right for you. This means checking out the length of the hose and, if need be, invest in multiple hoses that can be connected one to another. Also take a look at the size of the pores, to make sure they eliminate enough water for your garden’s needs. Some soakers hoses are flat and some are round, so take a look into that feature to see if you want a space-saving unit (flat hoses) or one that has a longer lifespan (round hoses).